Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to complain over Britain's decision to grant a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie, who was accused of blasphemy by Iran's former supreme leader for his book The Satanic Verses, the state news agency reported Wednesday.
In the meeting, Iranian Foreign Ministry official Ebrahim Rahimpour told ambassador Jeffrey Adams that the decision was a "provocative act" that has angered Muslims.
Adams said Rushdie was being honored for his works of literature and underlined that the British government respects Islam, the state Islamic Republic News Agency said. In the Tuesday evening meeting, Adams promised to relay Teheran's protest to London.
Rushdie went into hiding after Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to kill the author because his novel allegedly insulted Islam.